Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all activities related to the sport for three years, FIFA announced Monday.
The ban comes after Rubiales’ nonconsensual kiss of star midfielder Jenni Hermoso at the 2023 World Cup final. He also threw another Spanish player over his shoulder and was seen grabbing his crotch during Spain’s 1-0 win over England, and his behavior resulted in multiple investigations into his conduct.
While Rubiales initially refused calls to resign, he stepped down on Sept. 10, though he remained defiant in the face of the backlash against him. His decision to resign came after he received a provisional suspension from FIFA, the Spanish government attempted to have him removed and Hermoso filed a criminal complaint against him.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code,” FIFA said in a statement Monday. “This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days.
“Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision today. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, he has ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.”
While Rubiales has maintained his innocence, saying the kiss was consensual, Spanish prosecutors have charged him with sexual assault and coercion. They also say Rubiales attempted to put pressure on both Hermoso and her family to say that the kiss was consensual.
Hermoso has maintained that the kiss was not consensual, saying she felt “disrespected” and was left unprotected “as an employee of the federation.”
The 33-year-old midfielder returned to the national team last week for the first time since the World Cup final, scoring the game-winning goal in Spain’s 1-0 Nations League victory over Italy.